Paths of Peace
Description: Many traces have been left by the First World War in the mountains between the Ortler Group and the Isonzo River during the years 1915-18. More than fourty years ago, a small international group of mountaineers joined forces with the intention of restoring and re-opening some of the old wartime paths which led up these mountains. They founded the Association "Friends of the Dolomites" in 1973. Their motto became: "Paths which once separated us, shall unite us today" and the name "PATHS OF PEACE".
The mountain Kleiner Pal (Plöckenpass) was a war zone in World War I between Italy and Austria-Hungary (1915-1917). The friends of the Dolomites are working here as volunteers to reconstruct old trails, as well as excavate and reconstruct historical sites into an impressive Open Air Museum.
Type of Work: Clearing and maintaining, as well as marking the existing trails; applying wood varnish protector to wooden structures; mounting or placement of information plates; excavation and clearance of war time trenches and shelters (caverns) as well as reconstructing collapsed rock walls. The work will be hard, but useful and very important.
Study Theme: Here you can combine the experience of being in some of the most beautiful natural surroundings with historical locations. Additionaly there will be a workshop given by volunteers from another SCI-Workcamp about remembrance of WW1 in Austria and Italy. In your free time you can visit another Museum 1915-1918 "From the Ortler Mountains to the Adriatic Sea" located in the town hall of Kötschach-Mauthen, or undertake hikes on the various trails (as well as the Geotrail) and climb around the surrounding mountains.
Accommodation: The first night you will be accommodated in the base camp dormitories (1,275 meters). From Monday to Friday accommodation will be in the mountain camp (1,800 meters) in a cabin dormitory. Showers are limited to the weekend. Wholesome freshly cooked food (including meat) will be served in the work camp.
Language: Camp language will be English, however there will be volunteers from the "Friends of the Dolomites" speaking German and Italian.
Requirements: We kindly request a letter of introduction mentioning what inspired or motivated you to volunteer with us, as well as some of your qualifications and mountain environment experience that you can contribute.
It is essential to be able to work on mountain construction sites, to be in good physical condition and be sure-footed on rocky and uneven terrain.
Approximate Location: Since 1983, the “Friends of the Dolomites” have been most active around the Plöckenpass area in the border region between Austria and Italy. The beautiful mountain landscape of the Carnic Ridge creates a marvellous scenery to show visitors the soldier’s frontline environment in which such senseless suffering and hardship took place.